anxiety: 24 Articles

Tips to Help Your Child Manage Scary News

Whether from television news reports, the car radio, digital media, or adult discussions, children are often bombarded with information about the world around them. When the events being described include violence, extreme weather events, a disease outbreak, or discussions of more dispersed threats such as climate change, children may become frightened and overwhelmed.  The latest installment in the bestselling What To Do series, What to Do When the News Scares You: A Kid’s Guide to Understanding Current Events by Jacqueline B. Toner, PhD, provides a way to help children put scary events into perspective. And, if children start to worry or become anxious about things they’ve heard, there are ideas to help them calm down and cope. This book also helps children identify reporters’ efforts to add excitement to the story which may also make threats seem more imminent, universal, and extreme. This adapted excerpt from the Introduction to Parents and Caregivers provides strategies to help kids understand and process the messages around and to put scary events into perspective. Keep these tips in mind as you help your child through scary times:  Children’s ability to cope with scary events varies with age and with the child.  Limit young children’s exposure to news stories as much as you can. When you are unable to limit their exposure due to your own needs for information, be available to interpret messages for them.  Consider how you access news and how that may impact children nearby. Reading news on your own is the least likely to accidentally transfer information to children; television news is more likely to include frightening visuals and sound effects. Listen to the child’s concerns before offering explanations. Ask what they have heard and what that information means to them. You may uncover misperceptions and unfounded fears which need correcting. Tell the truth but gently. Don’t brush off a child’s concerns but present hopeful information with the truth. Include information about how the event is being dealt with and people are being cared for. Be careful not to let your own fears result in sharing information based upon speculation about possible future developments.  Help your child put the event in perspective. While you may have a sense that a threat is far away, limited in scope, being managed, or even in the past, don’t assume that your child understands this.  Comment to your child about the ways in which news reports may be making things seem more dire than they are.  Help older children become active consumers of the news by teaching them which news sources can be trusted and why. Be sure to point out sources of information that are likely to be misleading, especially online.  Remind the child that you and other adults around them will keep them safe. Use concrete examples when you can.  Maintain routines and don’t let news intrude on normal daily activities (no TV news during dinner).  Encourage children to employ coping strategies designed to reduce over excitement and anxiety if they become

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Tips to Help Your Child Manage Scary News 2021-10-06T17:42:52-04:00

Helping Kids Manage Climate Change-related Anxiety

Climate change isn’t just changing the climate: It’s affecting every part of our world. To help kids understand the transformation of our planet that’s happening right now, All the Feelings Under the Sun: How to Deal With Climate Change by Leslie Davenport will take them on a journey through many different branches of science, our history, our societies and cultures, and into their  own mind and feelings. As they learn about climate change, they’ll also be learning about themselves. Your child will be learning more about what they're feeling and why, and this book will give them some new tools to express their feelings so they aren’t overwhelmed. Here’s an excerpt from the Note for Parents, Caregivers, Teachers, and Counselors: As we learn more about the impacts of climate change, at times it may be frightening or sad and make us nervous or angry or more. You may experience all the feelings under the sun. These feelings are totally natural and healthy.  Parenting and teaching are challenging, but raising children on a planet that’s heating up can feel downright daunting. We want to be guides and guardians as we teach our children about the world around them, and we also feel the natural instinct to protect them from threats and suffering. Climate change poses a dilemma: How can we help our children move forward with love, wonder, and resilience while knowing that climate change will likely impose tremendous difficulties in their future?  All the Feelings Under the Sun presents realistic and age-appropriate climate science and answers the questions that kids are asking about their changing world. It also offers effective coping tools in the form of exercises, each of which supports their curiosity and helps them build emotional resilience as their climate-change awareness grows.  It can be helpful if you read the book in its entirety as well. If you share their understanding of the material and techniques presented here, you’ll be better equipped to help them with questions that might arise. Climate change is a challenging topic for most adults too, so reading the book will likely bring into focus your own complex feelings about the increasing ecological damage being done to our planet.  Reading this book provides the opportunity to address environmental concerns as a family by engaging in eco-wise conversations and projects that everyone can participate in. The most important factor in helping kids cope emotionally with the reality of climate change is to empower them to become part of the solution. Helping them focus on what they can influence and control provides them with safety and reassurance—and teaches them a valuable life skill so they’ll be able to think, reflect, and act effectively throughout their lives.  Kids also need a safe emotional place to express their vulnerability. They may voice fears or sadness about loss of wildlife, natural disasters, water or air pollution, the safety of friends and family, and even their pets. It’s not helpful to tell them there’s no reason to be upset.

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Helping Kids Manage Climate Change-related Anxiety 2021-09-29T18:10:59-04:00

Something Happened in Our Park: Standing Together After Gun Violence

When Miles’s cousin Keisha is injured in a shooting, he realizes people can work together to reduce the likelihood of violence in their community. With help from friends and family, Miles learns to use his imagination and creativity to help him cope with his fears. Hear the authors, Ann Hazzard, PhD, ABPP, Marietta Collins, PhD, and , Marianne Celano, PhD, ABPP read Something Happened in Our Park aloud.

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Something Happened in Our Park: Standing Together After Gun Violence 2021-09-07T16:08:45-04:00